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Politics

Amazon Fight Heats Up

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(credit: AP)

(credit: AP)

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Capitol Democrats are lashing out today against Amazon.

They are accusing the giant online retailer of offering phantom jobs to change the law.

Democrats say Amazon will never deliver those 7,000 jobs to California – but critics say the only phantom thing here is the tax revenue that Democrats are counting on.

Amazon has offered to bring thousands of warehouse jobs to California – if the company gets a 2-year pass from collecting California’s new online sales tax for out of state retailers. Democrats at the Capitol joined together today to say collectively: No Deal.

“Now let’s talk about those phantom jobs,” said Assembly Speaker John Perez. “They very jobs they’re promising us here in California are jobs that they’re promising other states as well. What they’re engaged in is tantamount to economic bigamy,” the Speaker told Capitol reporters.

But the California legislature is already banking on $200 million in annual revenue from the so-called Amazon tax – yet not one single online retailer has registered with the state to start collecting it – according to the Board of Equalization.

If that trend continues, California could have a $400 million budget hole over the next two years.
Amazon has spent more than $5 million for a 2012 ballot referendum to overturn the new law. Many traditional brick and mortar retailers, including book stores are supporting a new bill that would require Internet retailers to immediately collect sales taxes for online purchases, even if they are located outside the state of California. If approved as an urgency measure, the controversial Capitol bill could not be overturned by voters.

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